Theaster Gates to Deliver Mandy and Cliff Einstein Visiting Artist Lecture at Otis College

News, Community | February 24, 2024

The Chicago-based artist and social innovator has exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions.

Theaster Gates

Otis College of Art and Design’s Undergraduate Fine Arts Department will present the Mandy and Cliff Einstein Visiting Artist Lecture featuring artist Theaster Gates on Thursday, March 7, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. Fine Arts Chair Meg Cranston will provide an introduction to the artist’s in-person lecture.

Registration for the lecture is now open. The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in The Forum of Otis College’s Goldsmith campus at 9045 Lincoln Boulevard in Los Angeles. 

Ceremony, ritual, homegoings, spaces of conviviality, and monuments of homage are all subjects of deep reflection for Gates. For his talk, “Ghosts, Gimlets & All Things Black,” Gates will share stories from the last three years of his artistic practice, focusing on objects that invite secular communion and sacred observance and public works that honor others. During his visit, Gates will also spend time with Otis students. 

Gates is an artist and social innovator who lives and works in Chicago. Over the past decade, Gates has translated the intricacies of Blackness through space theory and land development, sculpture, and performance. Through the expansiveness of his approach as a thinker, maker, and builder, he extends the role of the artist as an agent of change. His performance practice and visual work find roots in Black knowledge, objects, history, and archives.

Wheel theaster GatesGates has exhibited and performed at The LUMA Foundation, Arles, France (2023); The New Museum, New York (2022); The Aichi Triennial, Tokoname (2022); The Serpentine Pavilion, London (2022); The Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2021); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2013 and 2021); Tate Liverpool (2020); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2020); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2019); Palais de Tokyo Paris (2019); Sprengel Museum Hannover, Germany (2018); Kunstmuseum Basel (2018); National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (2017); Art Gallery of Ontario, Canada (2016); Fondazione Prada, Milan (2016); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria (2016); Punta della Dogana, Venice, Italy (2013); and dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany (2012).

In 2010, Gates created the Rebuild Foundation, a nonprofit platform for art, cultural development, and neighborhood transformation that supports artists and strengthens communities through free arts programming and innovative cultural amenities in the Grand Crossing neighborhood of the South Side of Chicago.

Gates is the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, including the Isamu Noguchi Award (2023); the National Buildings Museum Vincent Scully Prize (2023); Frederick Kiesler Prize for Architecture and the Arts (2022); an Honorary Fellowship from the Royal Institute of British Architects (2021); the World Economic Forum Crystal Award (2020); J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development (2018); Nasher Sculpture Prize (2018); Sprengel Museum Kurt Schwitters Prize (2017); and Artes Mundi 6 Prize (2015).

In April 2018, Gates was appointed as the inaugural Distinguished Visiting Artist and Director of Artist Initiatives at the Lunder Institute for American Art at Colby College in Waterville, Maine. He was the Visiting Artist in Residence at the American Academy in Rome (2020) and was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2021. 

Gates is a professor at the University of Chicago in the Department of Visual Arts and serves as the Special Advisor to the President for Arts Initiatives.

About the Mandy and Cliff Einstein Visiting Artist Series

Funded through a generous gift from Mandy and Cliff Einstein, the Mandy and Cliff Einstein Visiting Artist Lecture Series provides Otis College students an opportunity to learn and engage directly with major figures in the art world today. Invited artists spend time with Otis students and give a free public lecture. Past guests have included Doug Aitken, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Edgar Heap of Birds, Shirin Neshat, Jeffrey Vallance, Kara Walker, Zoe Whitley, and Anicka Yi. 

Related News